We all desire love. Marriage, to most of us, is the ultimate symbol of love. It is a declaration and a promise. But could a marriage mean more than just a couple’s happiness? In a world where many marriages end in divorce and many are choosing to forgo marriage altogether, is there something missing? Does marriage as an institution even still matter?
The Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, say, “Yes.” Not only is marriage the center of their ministry, from a Unificationist perspective it is the building block of a world of peace and the birthplace of God’s love.
And not just marriage, but the Marriage Blessing.
The Blessing movement takes marriage to a whole new level, beyond just the happiness of the married individuals or their families. By receiving the Marriage Blessing, couples commit to something greater—they commit to changing the world together.
Reality Check: Why can’t we just keep living as we do?
We live in a world where war, division and violence are commonplace. The United Nations estimates that about 7 in 10 women around the world will experience physical and/or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. Around 437,000 intentional homicides occurred worldwide in 2012 alone—most of which were in the Americas. Everywhere cultures are clashing.
Global problems often seem insurmountable, and unrelatable on an individual level, but once you zero in on the national level, more pieces of the puzzle emerge. In the United States, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families, and more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year.
Fewer than half of kids live in a home with two, married parents, compared to 73% in 1960. In communities across the country, 85 percent of imprisoned youth and 71 percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. Researchers found the rate of divorce and relationship issues increased when fathers were emotionally or physically unavailable to youth.
When we look at these statistics, suddenly the global epidemic of violence hits closer to home. Our world is made up of flawed nations, which are made up of struggling communities, which are made up of broken families that create individuals starved for love.
How do we reverse the domino effect?
Vincent J. Bove reflects in his book Listen to Their Cries: Calling the Nation to Renewal, “The family is first and foremost the primary source of education for all of society and is critical to a community’s health. Each and every human being enters the world through a family and every human being is communal by nature.”
Imagine if every child were guaranteed the chance to grow up in a home filled with love, acceptance and peace. Imagine a family in which parents loved each other, invested in their children, and gave back to the community. It seems like a fairytale, but that is exactly what God envisioned for each and every one of us.
Father Moon tells us that God’s desire from the very beginning was for Adam and Eve to marry centered on His love, then build a family that would multiply that love to the entire world. Sadly, we all know the story of how Adam and Eve’s family really turned out. Since that time, God has longed to bring us back to that original ideal, a place where we can build loving relationships and happy families as the foundation for a peaceful world.
The Marriage Blessing is an opportunity to change the statistics. The Marriage Blessing is more than just a marriage ceremony. It includes God as the center of the relationship and honors the marriage relationship as something beyond just the couple. Couples who enter into the Marriage Blessing understand that their marriage is not just for their own sake; rather, it serves as a foundation for a loving family, a vibrant community and a peaceful world.
Want to take your marriage deeper?
For those already married, the Marriage Blessing can be a rededication. It can be the beginning of a more fulfilling marriage and more joyful parenting. Through the Marriage Blessing, couples help build a community in which marriage and family truly are honored and supported.
The Marriage Blessing is an affirmation of our origin as human beings created by God—knowing that He wants His children not only to change our habits but also to be truly happy and have the chance to create a family and culture completely based on godly values through personal commitment and self-change.
That means changing the way things have been done for centuries—not only by connecting marriage to God from the start but also by making a commitment as a couple to include God in every aspect of daily life—making God our go-to when things are both joyful and difficult.
Attend the Next Blessing
Whether you want to improve your marriage or change the world, the Marriage Blessing is the best place to start, because it focuses on the core relationship between you and God, and extends outward to the world and your descendants.
The Marriage Blessing is our call to action to create a culture that genuinely cares for each human being, values commitment between husband and wife and upholds family values. It is the army that can bring America back to God.
The next Marriage Blessing Ceremony is on February 19, 2016, with event locations across the United States and in Korea. Visit blessingamerica.org to find out more and begin your journey with the Marriage Blessing.